Music Reviews

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Artist: ThouShaltNot (@)
Title: You'll Wake Up Yesterday
Format: CD
Label: ADSR Musicwerks (@)


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This is a limited CD collection of live outtakes, remixes, covers, acoustic versions, and unreleased tracks by ThouShaltNot, known mainly for their unorthodox combinations of Noise, Darkwave, and Classical musical structures. The first track is a poundingly noise heavy version of “Without Faith”. This is followed by a dark industrial version of “Cracked”. Unfortunately I have not yet had the pleasure of hearing their debut self-titled release that this track comes from so I can’t make much of a comparison. The same applies for the other tracks from the same release; “Polarity” and “Crash”. The “Polarity” acoustic version is a guitar and vocal version. “We’re In This Together” is a cover of a Nine Inch Nails song from the The Fragile release. Their version is hard and heavy at times and very electronic while at other times softer and containing female vocals in the chorus. It even ends with an interesting acoustic guitar bit. My favorite parts of this are the female vocals and the acoustic ending however I don’t find this sounds anything like the original at all. I love the way they begin “The Weakness of Words” with acoustic guitar, almost Xymox-like, and seamlessly drop in the electronic beats. The version of “Crash” here is rather ambient with some electronic blips and bleeps and a touch of Noise influence in the distorted beats. This track drops right into a piano version of “In Hopes of Flight”. This is a very interesting acoustic performance. “Dying Boy” is a previously unreleased track and while it’s not a bad song it’s not one of my favorites on the album and one of two in which you can hear Alexx’s voice a bit more raw and with no effects. What I do really like about this track is the beat box part of it. The live version of “Without Faith” is actually ‘very’ raw and the track is sung to a somewhat different rhythm scheme than the original. I don’t really like this version much at all. Blackwater is a rather poetic interlude sort of track with more than a little effects on the vocals and heavy Noise beats but is only about a minute and a half long. This is followed by “Trench Warfare” which sounds like some old-school industrial rhythms mixed with orchestral pieces and hard vocals. Strangely “Scales On Scales” sounds familiar in regards to the vocal melody but I can’t figure why. Anyway the music for this piece is actually lounge-like and very nearly comical sounding. “Icepaper” is a 40 second track of a very mild ambient effect. This is followed by the David Bowie cover of “Within You” from the Labyrinth Soundtrack. ThouShaltNot’s version is actually darker than Bowie’s and more somber. It sounds almost like The Clan of Xymox in it’s general music structure complete with Cure-like guitar, electronic rhythms, electronic ambience and even a slight touch of what sounded like choral backing and moves into some hard and quick beat electronics. This is a very interesting and unique interpretation of this classic piece. What follows is a version of “S0ren Grey” which begins a bit simplistically; rim taps, backing ambience, and soft vocals. This changes as it becomes almost a hallow and somewhat haunting electronic ambient bit. “Pillbox Tales” begins with some electronic sounds much like mechanized hydraulics followed by a soft marching snare and soft bell-like tones. The beat slowly hardens but remains somber, a skill ThouShaltNot has perfected it seems. As with many of their songs they add short noise effects in this overall quiet track which somehow works to make the piece more contemplative. This track later drops into a very moving drum-n-bass rhythm. It seems this is actually a cover of a song by The Cure. Strangely I don’t remember this one as it seems to be a very limited release track from the 1986 version of Boy’s Don’t Cry and was featured only as a B-Side. At least that is as much as I’ve been able to find out about it so far. Thanks for making me do my homework on this one. It’s stuff like that that makes this industry more interesting at times. The next track is also one I like quite a bit, it’s an acoustic guitar version of “The Sting” originally from The Holiness of Now. The coda of “Cracked” is much harder, faster and heavier than the other version on this release. Now, nearing the end of the CD we have a cover of the Rolling Stones song “Paint It Black”. This is actually a live version with no overdubs and is really quite dark and actually used live drums instead of electronics and seems to have a minimum of electronics only as ambience. This version is sung with much passion. Lastly, and probably most amusingly, is a song called “If I Only Were A Goth” which is set to the music from The Wizard of Oz’s “If I Only Had A Heart”. This version however has lyrics like, “I’d be fitter, I’d be taller, go clubbing in my collar with skin pale as a moth. Dressed in black I’d go creeping when the normal folk are sleeping, if I only were a Goth. With my hair up I’d look fancy like Souixsie and the Banshees with silk or velvet cloth. Dressed in boots never sandals and the room would be lit with candles if I only were a Goth. Yes I’d want to die from the bottom of my heart impure. Would I like another clove well sure and after that we’ll go listen to The Cure.”. There are the usual vampire references and they manage to fit in the names of other well known people in the scene as well. This song reminds of something you’d expect by Voltaire and is quite hilarious. This album is an amazing collection of works by this rather new band to hit the scene and displays quite a bit more of their acoustic side as well. ThouShaltNot is a band with amazing versatility although there are a few times on this release where the vocals aren’t the cleanest but that’s because they were not studio productions so that fans and others can actually get a feel of what the band is capable of without all the electronics. They continue to astound me with their unique combinations of acoustic and electronic elements as well as both underground and classical forms of music. This is not the type of release I’d recommend for someone who is not at least a little familiar with the band or who are not sort of fans as there are many raw elements which would only cause others to become ‘very’ critical of them. Those people should stick to the studio releases like The Holiness of Now instead but for everyone else this is a very interesting bit of work with a few interesting surprises as well.

© Copyright 8/2001 TG Mondalf. All Rights Reserved



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